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SENATE HANSARD 15 JUNE 2022 VOL 31 NO 49
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBAWE
Wednesday, 15th June, 2022
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Thank you Mr. President. I move
that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 5 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
SCHEMES TO REDEEM THE NATIONAL HERD FROM DEVASTATING AND DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF DROUGHT
Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on the effects of
drought on the national herd in the dry regions of the country.
Question again proposed.
+HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: Thank you Mr. President Sir, for
allowing me the opportunity to debate on this motion that was tabled by Hon. Sen. A. Dube which is a very important motion on the effects of
drought on the national herd in the dry regions of the country -that is, Matabeleland, Masvingo and part of Midlands.
Mr. President Sir, this motion came at an opportune time. The current situation in the rural areas is bad where there is drought which is affecting both human beings and livestock. This comes as a result of global warming and climate change which is also affecting Zimbabwe among other countries around the globe. Mr. President, looking at our depleting grazing land, our livestock does not have grass - even the streams, rivers and dams are drying up. We anticipated that the responsible Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement would look into this issue so that our livestock that need grazing land are in a better state.
Looking at this, the Ministry then should consider capacitating farmers whether they are commercial, communal, A1 or A2 so that they can be given loans or equipment whilst they pay bit by bit so that they can harvest grass in their fields so as to make stock feeds for their livestock. Such machinery could be grass cutting machinery so that there is a complete set for individual farmers so that they can cut the little grass on their fields. Even when the Government intervenes, the farmer should have his/her own stockfeed.
Mr. President Sir, I want to encourage the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to look into this issue and work on the sinking of boreholes in rural and farming areas so that livestock has access to water. The Hon. Minister should also make it a point that those who breed livestock have irrigation projects where livestock can benefit from the different stock feeds that can be generated from such areas. If there is not enough food, there should be other areas where people can harvest stock feed which will be given to other areas. In Matebeleland, a lot of people breed livestock. We are looking at A1, A2 and communal lands. It is very difficult as there is no grass, the grass has dried up. That is why I value the suggestion that the Minister of Agriculture should take action so that this shortage of livestock feed is alleviated.
The Government should fast-track the implementation by assuring that grazing land is protected because we find people burning bushes and paddocks. For that reason, the responsible authorities should monitor paddocks and grasslands in farming areas so that we protect these places. I also implore the Government to provide machinery to be used by farmers to protect their grazing land like putting fireguards around paddocks and grazing land so that these are protected. In view of that, particularly facing climate change, it has become very difficult to be prepared. However, if we are not prepared, we lose livestock. In Matebeleland, we believe and anticipate that farmers breed cattle. Let me also say that the Government should consider farmers who do not have dams so that A2 farmers are empowered with small dams like the programme of water harvesting, through the diversion of water from small streams and dams where different farmers can be capacitated. Not only looking at big dams but smaller dams.
With these few words, I would like to thank you Mr. President and the Hon. Member for moving such an opportune motion which seeks to ensure that the Government empowers farmers. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF NTABENI: Thank you Mr. President. I wish to add my voice to the motion on livestock. It appears our national herd is diminishing. Yes, there is drought, we need to have cattle feed but what is of paramount importance is the water. Water needs to be availed, water is life. There are no dipping chemicals and as a result, our cattle are not dipping. The Minister or the Government should come up with ways of providing chemicals for dipping – most cattle are dying from lumpy skin; five to seven cattle can be lost. Where are we going to get these cattle once they diminish? We are grateful that the Minister got us tick grease but it is not enough on its own, one cannot apply it all over the body. The dipping chemicals – once the cattle dips into the tank, it is wholly immersed in the water and all the ticks are killed. What if someone has over 100 cattle, the dipping chemicals serve our purpose better than tick grease. Thank you Mr. President.
+HON. SEN. NKOMO: Thank you Mr. President Sir, for giving me this opportunity to debate the motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. A. Dube regarding the drought that is currently prevailing. This is quite a pertinent motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. Dube because drought does not just affect us as human beings but our ecosystem including our wildlife and domestic animals which give us foreign currency through domestic and foreign tourism, which is what we need.
Mr. President, because of drought, we lose a lot of wildlife. As I am speaking right now, in the previous years, you would find impalas and other animals dying which affected tourism because of drought. As human beings, we are much better because we have aid, either food or other forms of aid but our animals, domestic or wild animals do not have an option. I come from Matebeleland South, especially looking at the Matobo District where I come from, the desert is slowly encroaching into Zimbabwe from the South. We have a lot of areas where there is no grass, whether there is rainfall or not, we have open spaces, which means that the desert is slowly approaching the Matobo District. We need to take note of that because if we have such open space, it means that our cattle and livestock do not have grazing land in such dry areas and during this particular time.
Mr. President, it is important that we be vigilant so that we eradicate the effects of drought. We are in June right now and in Matabeleland South it is quite a tricky time. We get worried in that we do not have enough grazing land which will lead to farmers losing their cattle. After every five years we lose a lot of livestock because of drought. I would like to implore the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement which is responsible for livestock to come up with programmes which are going to be perennial programmes. These programmes should not come up because there is drought but they should always be running programmes, especially supporting what my fellow Senators said that if possible Mr. President, then those provinces which were not affected by drought should also contribute in the augmentation of the provision of stock feeds by cutting grass in different areas so that stock feeds are distributed throughout the country.
Every province should have access to stock feeds from those regions which have resources thereby supporting other regions like 4 and 5. There are some provinces which are dependent on livestock. Their livelihoods rely on that, whether it is in paying school fees for their children and other needs. So it is important to note that when such people lose their livestock then their livelihoods would be affected. Government cannot take responsibility for food aid and every other programme but there is need that we complement such efforts, particularly when faced with a drought.
We also note that there are some rivers in Matabeleland South, rivers which have water which can assist different communities, but I would also like to urge responsible officials at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to identify such rivers so that dams can be constructed next to such rivers so that we secure people’s livelihoods through the provision of water for livestock and human beings.
Mr. President, it is important that as we are debating this motion and putting this request, we appreciate that Government is doing a lot in emancipating the people and we appreciate that President E.D Mnangagwa and his Government is working hard through the provision of irrigation schemes, dams and other projects. So we request that this effort should also be taken to other areas which have not benefited from such efforts. We saw the President in Mangwe in Makorokoro area officiating at an irrigation project. That Mr. President, is a good initiative which people appreciate. With those few words Mr. President, I would like to thank you for affording me this opportunity to debate this motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. Dube. I thank you.
ÙÙHON. SEN. NYATHI: I would like to thank you for affording me this opportunity Mr. President, to debate the motion which was moved by Sen. A. Dube talking about the prevailing drought which is a result of inadequate rains and which is affecting water for our livestock.
Mr. President, I would like to say that we have domestic animals as well as wildlife which all need water. I want to agree with what has been said by my fellow Senators that if we have small reserves of water then our livestock can survive, but without water then it is very difficult. So what is happening about this issue should be looked into and we should ask ourselves how we can support our livestock and even wildlife. We benefit from wildlife.
In Matabeleland North where I come from, there is no water. We have some areas which are very dry. You will find that the dams, rivers and other places are drying up. For that reason, we find livestock and our domestic animals converging at watering points. Now there is no difference between domestic animals and wildlife. As residents who come from that area, we need to separate domestic animals from wildlife because there are some diseases that are spread by the meeting and mingling of domestic animals and wild life, so sometimes we end up having to go and buy medicines for treating our cattle and our domestic animals.
In our national parks in Matabeleland North, there are dams and such dams in the past used to be of use to our wildlife, but nowadays you find such dams drying up, which is affecting our wildlife. So my request is that may the Hon. Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement stand so that there is enough water because without water then there is no life because water is life. May the Hon. Minister also maybe engage with Hon. Members so that we suggest what should be done so that we secure the future of our livestock as well as wildlife? As this august House, as this Senate, let us debate issues which are tangible and issues which can be done so that we find them being implemented. For instance, in Matabeleland North, there are a lot of dry areas. There are a lot of things which should be done so that such areas have water. We have dams which are not operational because of siltation. There is no water in such dams. People walk for 20km to go and find water and to make sure that their livestock have water. So my request is that the Hon. Minister should come to this august House so that he witnesses and hears our contributions as Hon. Senators because if we are facing such a challenge as human beings and as farmers, then it is our responsibility also to make sure that our wildlife and domestic animals have grazing land and they have water.
It is important that in those areas where we find enough grass then stock feeds should be harvested and taken to those dry areas which do not have enough grazing land because if we do not have livestock and if we do not have wildlife then our ecosystem is not complete. For it to be complete, we need to have enough resources for our livestock, even for our wildlife which gives us tourism in Zimbabwe. It is because of tourism that we receive foreign currency. I thank you Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Good afternoon Hon. Senators, thank you Mr. President. This motion which reads as, the impact of drought on our national herd which has its recommendations. This issue requires that it be referred to the relevant Thematic Committee which I believe is Peace and Security. I do not know if the Chairperson of that Committee is in this august House. If it were possible, the Committee should carry out verification visits to find out what is actually obtaining on the ground so that the relevant Minister will also be in the picture.
There has been a discussion on livestock and wildlife because the majority of them have died due to shortage of water but on the issue of the diminishing livestock and wildlife, it is caused by drought as has been mentioned but the January disease has worsened the problem. Where I come from, part of Masvingo, Midlands and other areas, this is a very serious matter. It is actually a crisis as people have lost their cattle. The issue of cattle dipping as has been stated by Hon. Chief Ntabeni is true. The teak grease on its own is not working. You cannot apply teak grease all over the body of a bull like a human being. Dipping entails that the beast is immersed in water mixed with dipping chemicals. We are copying the greasing method from others.
Mr. President, we have a lot of people that used to have a lot of cattle but alas, they no longer have even a single one. I know a man who stays in the Charumbira area who was employed by ZINWA. He was pensioned and got his lump sum and bought a lot of cattle. He believed that he would sit pretty with a herd of 35 but the last time I heard, he was only left with two beasts. Maybe now he has nothing left. This was proceeds from his pension but he has lost out. We need to implement what is in the motion to come up with urgent monitoring interventions or drought relief programmes.
As soon as we are through with this motion, we should make an addition of the restocking of livestock. There should be a Presidential Scheme that helps people that lost their cattle recently. We recommend that it be included. Yes, we have the Presidential Poultry Scheme, so let us also have a similar scheme for cattle. The numbers of cattle that people used to have are known by the dip attendants and they should just produce their books for reimbursement or compensation because others can no longer have draught power because of such ailments or cattle diseases.
If there is a crisis in the country, there will be a lot of corruption. Because of the diminishing national herd because of the scarcity of chemicals that Chief Ntabeni has mentioned, people would buy the chemicals from the Veterinary Services Officers. These officers would sell these chemicals corruptly to other people. It is being touched on the motion on corruption. We need a special focus on the issue of the depleted national herd. The Peace and Security Thematic Committee should also carry out verification visits. I volunteer that you start in my own area of jurisdiction. Once you come to my area, you will see sufficient evidence that people are suffering and that the national herd is now depleted. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MANYAU: On the motion on drought that we are talking about, it is my plea that we all observe that drought also affects people living with disabilities. There are some people that are very poor and once there is a drought, the relatives that normally support them will be unable to support them. It is therefore my plea that the Chiefs in these areas where they reside in when they deal with the issue of the Zunde raMambo remember the people that live with disabilities because in the majority of cases, they are the ones that suffer most whenever there is a drought and are also affected by climate change. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. CHINAKE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 16th June, 2022.
POLICIES THAT ADDRESS AND PLUG LOOPHOLES RELATED TO TAX EVASION
Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on policies that address and plug loopholes on tax evasion, illicit financial flows and corruption.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. CHINAKE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. DENGA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 16th June, 2022.
REPORT OF THE 50TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM HOSTED VIRTUALLY BY THE KINGDOM OF LESOTHO
Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion of the Report of the 50th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum hosted virtually by the Kingdom of Lesotho from 10th to 12th December 2021.
Question again proposed.
+HON. SEN. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice to the report presented by Hon. Sen. Mohadi to this august House. This was the SADC Parliamentary Forum which was held in December 2021. The purpose of the meeting was to commemorate and celebrate the achievements of the SADC PF but it was not just celebrating but also the agreement which was made in Malawi to transform it to the SADC Regional Parliament. On that particular day, the participants also spoke about the late Dr. Kenneth Kaunda who was the former President of Zambia. The Hon. Members were discussing his contributions to the development of Zambia. The late Dr. Kenneth Kaunda is celebrated for assisting many countries in attaining independence. Zimbabwe also got independence because of his grace and allowing our forces to be accommodated in Zambia whilst we were fighting against the imperialist system. We appreciate Dr. Kaunda for allowing other African citizens to be housed in Zambia and to be trained to fight even from Zambia as a base. He did not just assist Zimbabwe but was there for South Africa.
Dr. Kaunda accommodated South African freedom fighters for a long period of time. Because of his vision for an independent Africa, it is also noted that there was a book of condolences for the late former President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda. This book was then handed to the Embassy of Zambia in Zimbabwe. This was done through the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Jacob Mudenda. During the same meeting, there were a lot of motions which were moved and one of the motions expressed that there was need for Southern Africa to have a one stop investment shop which will allow free trade in any Southern African country through the ease of doing business and through the bureaucratic approach. A one stop shop allows people to trade easily under one roof without any bureaucracy.
They also spoke about water harvesting during rainy seasons in African countries for posterity so that people can use such water during dry seasons for irrigation and other domestic uses. There was also a request for more dams because Southern Africa is facing water shortages. This is important and I also believe that we have dams so that we can harvest water and store it in reservoirs.
The issue of visas and immigration was discussed for people who would want to travel across different parts of Southern Africa so that they can do so without any hassles and going through many immigration laws. Just like European countries, there are no impediments like the cumbersome immigration laws and procedures we get here. It was expressed that this should be done in Southern Africa. In the same meeting, our Speaker Hon. Jacob Mudenda was elected to Chair such an august meeting. We appreciate that and we are happy that we are getting recognition as Zimbabwe because of the competent people that we have. In the same meeting, I believe there were five representatives in all meetings and it became evident that all five representatives participated in the meeting. They contributed positively.
You find in other meetings, there are some people who do not contribute but our delegation was very fruitful. It is important that as Members of this august House, we represent our country and also contribute in different meetings. With these few words Mr. President, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to support the report which was presented by Hon. Sen. Mohadi, I thank you.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to say a few words pertaining to this report.
Before I wind up this motion, I want to say a few words. I am happy to report that ever since we have been trying by all means for the SADC PF to become a regional Parliament, because it is only the SADC which does not have a Parliament so far. I am happy to report we are towards finishing that issue.
Secondly, I am happy that SADC PF recognised the work that was done by our former President Hon. Kenneth Kaunda and the history that was rendered at the meeting. It was pleasing. May his soul rest in peace. We will always remember the work that he did.
I would like to thank all Hon. Members that gave themselves time to debate on this report. Let me say that they should also take note that I am thanking them from the bottom of my heart because some do not take reports as important.
Lastly, I would encourage Ministers to respond to reports and motions in this House. We are a bit disturbed and worried about them not attending to our pleas so that we have a way forward always but it seems as though we are just debating for interest sake or for nothing because what we report here has no end. Without much ado, I move that this motion be withdrawn.
Motion that this House takes note of the Report of the 50th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum hosted virtually by the Kingdom of Lesotho from 10th to 12th December, 2021 put and agreed to.
MEASURES TO RESUSCITATE THE ECONOMY
Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to come up with measures to resuscitate the economy.
HON. SEN. MATHUTU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 16th June, 2022.MOTION
EFFORTS TO CURB CORRUPTION
Tenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion to introduce deterrent sentences for those engaging in corrupt activities.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:Thank you Mr. President for affording me the opportunity to wind up my motion. First and foremost, I would like to thank all the Hon. Members who contributed to the debate on this motion which is a hot topic in our country because corruption has destroyed our country. I would want to thank them once again. I would also want to thank ZACC which was tasked by the President to look into corruption and how it can be ended in this particular country. At the moment, we hear that they are looking for ill gotten wealth that was taken and stashed outside the country. They are doing it with a view to repatriate the funds to this country where it rightly belongs so that it can aid our country. It is my plea that I should urge ZACC to pursue this good duty that they are doing to bring back our wealth that was stolen but this country is full of thieves that are busy stealing. I would also want to further urge that these issues should be thoroughly investigated so that when an individual is accused of stealing, tangible evidence is found so that the culprit can be convicted.
I have observed that at times investigations are carried out and half baked cases are taken before the courts, individuals are let off the hook once the allegations are made that an individual is accused of corruption, the cases will be very week. There will be no strong evidence and the case can just die a natural death as if the accused person has never been arrested. If a person has been accused of stealing, it just ends as it is. That is when people would start saying that so and so was arrested on allegations of theft, how was the case concluded. There was no closure on the case. I believe that investigations are very important and that when investigations are carried out, they should be done properly. Sufficient evidence should be produced so that when one appears before the court of law, it will be common knowledge that this person stole and is a candidate for imprisonment. This helps us once the culprits are incarcerated and people would know that our Government has teeth and it can bite. This will act as a form of deterrence.
I also want to urge our judicial officers to treat corruption cases as top priority so that whoever is arrested facing corrupt charges will be quickly brought before the courts and tried in time. Currently people are being arrested and it takes months before the case is been tried. With the technology that we now have Mr. President, it is our plea that what is being done by our Government currently - that a lot of places have modern technology to see that everything is being done in a transparent manner, would help us a lot if those same machines were to be installed in offices so that people can just deal with computers. All our work will be controlled through e-governance so that we eliminate the human element because if you go there to collect a form, the person simply looks at you and fumbles with the papers and you will not get anything and then there is a request for a bribe. That is how corruption starts. If it were possible, it is my plea that at the offices there be modern technology that removes the human element. It would help us a lot once we take that direction as we fight against corruption. We may reduce, deter or completely eradicate corruption.
There is nothing meaningful coming out towards fighting corruption. For corruption to take place, it takes two to tango. There will be the briber and the receiver of the bribe. There is need for public education from the traditional leaders who are the people in the communal lands. The public servants know that corruption is not right and bribery is not right. Once people have been enlightened that bribery is a bad practice and that if anyone solicits for a bribe, they must be reported so that the culprit is dealt with. That should reduce corruption. With those words Mr. President, I now move for the adoption of the motion. I thank you.
Motion that this House-
MINDFUL that Government established the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to deal with challenges of corruption in the country,
DISTURBED that despite such noble endeavour by Government incidents of corruption continue to proliferate unabated as if to make a mockery of the measures put in place;
NOTING with concern that this scourge needs to be tackled and nipped from the bud before it disturbs our everyday lives as it continues to rear its ugly head among our societies;
CONCERNED that at times even those tasked with the responsibility of preserving our laws and order do end up being caught on the wrong side of the law as they fail to resist the effects of corruption which continues to spread like fire;
NOW, THEREFORE this HOUSE,
Calls upon the Executive to introduce deterrent sentences for those engaging in corrupt activities
Calls upon the judiciary to fast track all cases of corruption through special courts that will be established to deal with such nefarious activities, put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Eleventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Mr. President, with your indulgence, I intend to proceed by way of winding up this motion. This motion on the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa, is a motion that was thoroughly and exhaustively debated by Members of this House. Indeed Mr. President, this House expressed its loyalty to Zimbabwe and went further to offer its respectful thanks for the speech which the President was pleased to address to Parliament. The fact that nearly three quarters of the Members of this House debated thoroughly on this motion is a clear testimony of the support and trust that they have for the President. It is a clear testimony that the President is a listening President and is a servant leader as witnessed by the contents of his speech which ranged from social services to matters of the economy of this country. I would like to applaud that Mr. President.
On that note, allow me to thank all the Hon. Members that debated SONA thoroughly as I earlier alluded to and take this moment to move for the adoption of the motion. I thank you.
Motion that a respectful address be presented to the President of
Zimbabwe as follows: –
May it please you, your Excellency, the President:
We, the Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe desire to express our loyalty to Zimbabwe and beg leave to offer our respectful thanks for the speech, which you have been pleased to address to Parliament, put and agreed to.
On the motion of HON. SEN MATHUTHU, seconded by HON. SEN CHIRONGOMA the Senate adjourned at twenty Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.